Mind Blown – [Slatt Zy]

Chattanooga, Tennessee is an unlikely hub for rap music, but it has pumped out a steady stream of nationally beloved projects, as well as underground gems, for the past decade and while the obvious current wave of Chattanoogans is spearheaded by Isaiah Rashad and his contemporary YGTUT, there are a number of other talented rappers who call Chatt home. You may also be familiar with Swayyvo whose Trunk Therapy project was criminally underrated, or Michael Da Vinci who has a sizable catalog of underground hits, and also Swerzie who stands apart from the other aforementioned artists sonically, but is still a cornerstone to Chattanooga’s surprisingly diverse hip-hop scene. However, these artists have all been well-known quantities for some time now and who will lead the next generation of the city is still a question to be answered. I have been curious about this for some time, and I think that we might have the answer in the form of Slatt Zy, a youthful crooner who calls Chattanooga home and proudly reps the region with the ‘423’ area code etched into his Instagram username. Zy exhibits his gruff vocal delivery which is strongly juxtaposed to his youthful exterior, making his songs even more …

Q&A: Kiraly Payne talks new EP, ‘PROTECT MT he(ART)’

With the release of his new EP, ‘PROTECT MY he(ART)’, coming later this month, Chicago-based artist Kiraly Payne will have initiated the next phase of his music career. The EP not only marks an evolution in the versatile rapper’s sound, but it also represents a shift in his overall mindset when it comes to the creative process, ceding his own ego and the notion of proving himself to anyone. Instead, he’s in pursuit of a greater goal, as he puts it, “to make the best music possible”. This next step for Kiraly has been motivated by his experiences in the Chicago hip-hop scene for the past few years. He only wants to see himself and his friends blow up, and doing that, he’s realized, requires the building of community and collaboration. Listen to Kiraly Payne’s new single “By My Side”, read about his forthcoming EP, and the Chicago hip-hop collective he’s starting in our latest interview below: Photos by @kayodidthat — MDR: Tell me a bit about where you’re from. KP: I’m from like Oak park, but we moved to Bolingbrook when I was six. Is there like a music scene there at all? I mean, yeah, but to be …

I Don’t Wanna Love You – [Saiah]

In music, emotional cohesivity is a key element of communication. For an artist to evoke a specific feeling, the sound, lyrics, and deliveries all need to work toward a common goal, and furthermore, the given song needs to be presented in a way that reflects such. Here to deliver just this with his masterful new single, “I Don’t Wanna Love You,” Saiah is back on our pages and better than ever. Originally popping up on my radar with his stellar Loverboyraceway Lostboy project, Saiah is an artist of notable emotional integrity, always sure to get his message across with stellar songwriting and just the right production to match. In the case of “I Don’t Wanna Love You,” he does this and more, using the heart-soaked progression of the instrumental to work in unison with the spacy structure of his deliveries. Threading the needle and bringing things full circle, he tops the song off with thoughtful vocals, clearly stricken with pain but honest, if not anything else. That said, Saiah’s latest release is yet another impeccable display of his musical talents — lyrically, vocally, etc. — so don’t sleep. Stream “I Don’t Wanna Love You” below!  

923 – [Brendan Bennett]

The Southwest-Florida raised musician talks about his new song and using music as a vessel to heal his own personal traumas.

Take Me Back – [Isaiah Flowers]

The end of summer brings with it a special air of nostalgia, not necessarily for specific moments or events that happened a long time ago, but more so just a general longing for the season itself and all the things that come with it. On his new album ‘Take Me Back’, Isaiah Flowers turns his summer nostalgia into music that’s a constantly changing blend of alt-rock, hip-hop, and pop. From the moment the first warped synth hits on opening track “Summer ’17”, Flowers latches onto a listener and maintains that grip for as long as possible by using seamless song transitions and surprising beat switches that keep things interesting. Just when you have the groove of a song down, it erupts into an epic guitar ballad or a danceable drum break. He doesn’t shy away from letting angst be the driving force behind certain tracks, and it works in his favor on songs like “Back Seat” where a distorted guitar riff adds a layer of gruff to Flowers’ otherwise smooth vocal style. While the memorable moments on ‘Take Me Back’ may be fleeting, Flowers offers up enough of them to make an exciting album that plays like a supercut of …

Lie – [Asaiah Ziv] ft. [Doanman]

Man! Our guy Asaiah Ziv is back with a brand new one that y’all NEED to hear. If you’ve been following Ziv’s recents projects and releases, you’d clearly notice that he’s been working with fellow artist Doanman; For good reasons too. It seems as if every time the the two of these guys get together, it’s a party on the beat. The brand new track is entitled “Lie” and I would definitely be lying to you if I said this wasn’t a banger. Like I’ve said in previous articles, Ziv has the unique gift of  not only making his music sound great, but also painting intricate and emotional paintings that listeners can experience. It’s not just music for Asaiah…it’s life and he makes you feel that in every single song that he puts out. On top of Asaiah’s skills, I really really enjoyed the Doanman feature as well. He added his own flare and flavor that perfectly rounds out this piece! There’s really not much more I could say without giving the whole song away, so I guess you’ll just have to check it out yourself. I’ve attached the Spotify link down below to “Lie”, so give it a listen …

Loverboyraceway Lostboy – [Saiah]

Feeling lost is simply a part of life. We all have our ups and downs, sure, but sometimes even worse are the moments when we’re neither up nor down, but rather, just confused as to which way we need to go. Here to soundtrack this emotive time of confusion is an artist by the name of Saiah with his unbelievable new project, Loverboyraceway Lostboy. Hence the title, this EP acts as a moment of vivid reflection for a “lostboy” full of love, full of life, and full of emotion, but unclear where his direction lies. Saiah’s candid, diary-esque lyricism and intimate deliveries warm up to the listener right off the bat with the heartfelt intro, “Lostboy,” but as the EP progresses, the rising talent quickly expands to new territory, from the refreshing burst of energy that is “Lost” to the anthemic cut, and probably my personal favorite, “Cold.” Ending the EP, Saiah decides to push this versatility one step further, as he crosses the bounds of genre into an incredible rock cut by the name of “Who Are You.” Needless to say, Loverboyraceway Lostboy is a creatively ambitious and deeply personal project, but perhaps its greatest strength is that of relatability. From …

Pseudoscience – [Keem The Cipher]

Keem The Cipher is bringing magnificent and elegant new sounds to the world with his latest instrumental project, Pseudoscience. The young Hip-Hop producer does not play by the rules, incorporating elements of jazz, electronic-funk, soul, and more into music. In short, this man is capable of creating a vibe for nearly any setting imaginable. A long drive home? Perfect, go listen to “Trial and Error.” Chilling at the beach with the homies? Amazing, turn on, “Gone Too Long!” Coming from Tennessee, Keem has been releasing music for quite some time. With several other instrumental projects released throughout the last couple years, it should come as no surprise to anyone as to why the producer has such a profoundly distinct and one of a kind sound. Throughout the project, Keem transitions from songs with wavy beautifully wavy synths to songs with off-beat drum patterns with the bat of an eye. The eclectic Pseudoscience is a true testament of Keem’s hard work and dedication to the craft of tailoring completely original music. Recently receiving a major head nod from TDE rapper, Isaiah Rashad, Keem The Cipher is truly up next. Listen to Pseudoscience here: Words by Barry R

Negro League – [IsaiahG]

IsaiahG is an artist who we have been posting about on these pages for well over four years, and this afternoon he is back with the release of his brand new music video for “Negro League”. It’s been a minute since we have last heard some new music from the Chicago native, about six months to be exact, so I was very excited to dive into this new visual. Isaiah got up with video director Gian Frias to help bring this song to life, and they snapped if you ask me, making for one of his best videos to date. Be expecting a tape to drop from Isaiah and his fellow AAP brother Aaron Deux in the near future, but for now just press play below.

Wake Up – [Leuca]

John Isaiah Welsh is an artist from Baldwin, New York who goes by the name of Leuca. The 21 year old just recently dropped a project that is so good, I personally believe everyone should take time out of their day to stream it. The five song EP entitled “Wake Up” is just one of the many projects on his discography that deserves immense praise. The first thing you’ll notice once you press play on one of the songs is Leuca’s mesmerizing vocals. There are certain people in this world who were born to sing and Leuca is definitely one of them. The way in which he adds his own personal flavor to every note he sings truly adds a refreshing depth to all of his songs. The 5 song EP is truly a musical journey. I advise you to cut out all distractions and try as best as you can to take it all in. It’s definitely a project worth checking out! I’ve attached the Spotify link to “Wake Up” down below, so give it a spin and let us know what you think!